Yesterday I began giving thanks to those who have meant so much to me this year. And now I will continue.
Dad, you are a blessing in my life. Your legacy is that of faith. You have challenged me to choose right in the hardest of situations and encouraged me when I have failed. Through all the ups and downs of life you have loved me. Dad, on this Thanksgiving, I want to thank you for leading the way to Jesus and a love that is always there. Dad, I love you dearly.
Mom, I have understood more this year what it means to have a daughter. You have walked with me through some of the most unbearable things that life has thrown my way. At times you have not agreed with my choices, but I have always known that you loved me. There is something about the mother/daughter relationship. As I have seen the girls struggle with their situation, I am reminded of how you never wavered in your devotion to me in my struggles. Now I see that it was harder on you in some ways as a spectator than on me as the one going through it. Thank you, Mom, for your consistency in your faith in me that I would be ok. I love you.
Mike, my brother, you are a hero. You put yourself on the line each time you go to work. You protect families and individuals. There is nothing small about what you do. I pray that you will stand in the midst of God's plan for your life and remain firm in His will. I love you.
Faye, last night at dinner Hazel asked if you were my mom. I told her that you were one of the moms that God has blessed me with. I am thankful to have you in my life. You have given my dad and our family joy, hope, love and macaroni salad that is to die for. I am eternally grateful for you. Thank you for a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner. The food was amazing and the fellowship was wonderful. I love you, Faye.
Bubba, you live life without worry. I have often wished that I could be more like that. You have loved all of my children as if they were your own. Thank you. With children like mine, it takes a lot of family to raise them and keep them safe. I love you.
Jenny, my sister-in-love, I don't know where to begin. Well, maybe I do. From the moment I met you, I have always thought you were so beautiful. We have come from two different worlds that somehow don't always mix. Yet, you always found the perfect way to reach out to connect with me. You have walked with me through seemingly impossible to deal with situations. I will always remember the first time you met Z. He had been hospitalized while you and Mike were down visiting. You came up to his room and brought him a toy. Even though you didn't know him, you sat on the floor and played with him for the longest time. At that moment, my heart was completely overwhelmed with love and gratitude for you. No, it wasn't the gift. It was the kindness of your heart. Lately, things have not been as you would have planned. My prayers and my love are with you all at this time. Trust God. Give Him your all. I love you.
Michael, could it really be that you are almost twelve? You would have thought it was me who was pregnant when I found out that your mom was pregnant with you. Your birth added a new dimension to our family. I would even say that you were born with a smile on your face. Michael, you bring a lot of joy to those around you. Even when you were younger, you were always telling jokes. You have the amazing gift of making people laugh. Never lose that. You made me so proud this summer while we were all in GA. You took Hazel with you wherever you went. She never had a moment to feel different when you were around. Thank you for being so kind to her. I love you, Michael.
Laura, my niece, you are so precious to me. From the moment you were born, we have known that there is something so special about you. Maybe it was the jet black hair with a mind of its own that first told us that. You are a girly girl who can play sports with the best of them. I am so thankful to have you as my niece. You add a uniqueness that is all your own. I love you, Laura.
Ms Sara, you have become like a grandmother to me. You are so kind to all of us. When we are at your home, it feels like we have "come home" to a place we have always known. You have loved my family like your own, and I am eternally grateful for that. Thank you for your warm heart and hospitality. We love you.
Thank you God for my special friend, Debbie. Over the past twelve years, we have been through some of the hardest circumstances that a person can ever face. But God in His loving kindness brought to each of a person we could call friend to walk beside us. You challenge me to walk closer to God in the best and worst of times. Through it all you have loved me and prayed for me. Lately our time together as been limited to quick dinners, but I treasure each moment that we have together. Thank you for being a place to go with my plethora of words and a safe place to fall. I love you, my friend.